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Are you letting text-addicts loose on the company’s cars?

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Hands off - stay safe and avoid increased penalties for using a hand-held phone while driving


20 November 2014

Are any of your company car drivers text-addicts?

MOBILE phone behavioural research has revealed that business car managers may have to look out for text-addicts among their company car drivers.

According to a study commissioned by US telecoms giant AT&T, people who text while driving display addiction-like behaviour that makes it difficult for them to stop, exposing them to potential accidents.

Study co-sponsor Dr David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction at the University of Connecticut, claims texting produces elevated levels of the neurochemical dopamine, which produces a feeling of happiness.

He pointed out that 90% of drivers surveyed in the US study agreed texting while driving is dangerous. But those who said they text anyway rationalise their behaviour – a classic trait of addiction.

The study was part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” US campaign to persuade drivers not to text when they’re behind the wheel. The company also is offering a free DriveMode app for smartphones that silences incoming text message alerts and automatically responds so the sender knows the recipient is driving.

The app activates when vehicle speed surpasses 15 mph and turns off shortly after the vehicle stops.

UK SME fleet operators will have to wait to see if any home telecom operators adopt a similar approach to safeguarding against text-addicts.

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